The hospitality industry is one that is primarily focused on customer satisfaction. For the most part, it is built on leisure or is luxury-based, as opposed to meeting basic needs. Hotels and resorts, cruise lines, airlines and other various forms of travel, tourism, special event planning, and restaurants all generally fall under the realm of the hospitality industry.
This service-based industry thrives on the leisure activities of patrons. Some of the business that the hospitality industry garners is transient and intermittent, but collectively, it accounts for a large source of its revenue. For example, a vacationing family may fly from one country to another, book a hotel room for the duration of their visit, dine at local restaurants, and tour theme parks or other area attractions. All of these activities involve the services provided by various areas of the hospitality industry.
Exceptional service is usually very important for all of these businesses. Customer satisfaction usually leads to consumer loyalty, which helps to ensure the success of a company in the hospitality industry. For example, if an individual chooses a particular airline and has a positive experience, he or she is likely to use it again in the future. Alternatively, if the flight is unpleasant, the airline attendants are rude, or the customer is otherwise displeased with the service, he or she is less likely to return to that airline the next time the opportunity arises.
Other services in the hospitality industry include special event planning for social and corporate functions. This may include the organization of a wedding that requires multiple vendors, such as florists, entertainers, cake bakers, and invitation designers. A wedding planner may also arrange for ground transportation and hotel accommodations for out-of-town guests. When all of these elements come together, a combination of local vendors within the hospitality industry collectively creates the overall experience for the wedding couple, their families, and the guests.
Similarly, corporate event planners commonly also arrange transportation for multiple individuals and secure hotel accommodations. Depending on the type of program the corporation is hosting, it is very likely that meeting space, audio visual equipment, food and beverage service, and other needs will also be arranged. Equipment rentals for trade shows — such as portable booths, pipe and drape, lighting, and signage — may also be required for the success of an event. Hospitality professionals that specialize in corporate events create an overall environment conducive for effective shows, meetings or conferences.